What we should learn from history is that we still have a lot to learn.
What are little girls made of?
Sugar and spice and everything nice - that's what little girls are made of.
What are little boys made of?
Snips and snails and puppy dog tails - that's what little boys are made of.
What is the earth made of?
This is a question people have asked, and scientists have investigated, for thousands of years.
Sometimes, even often, they have come up with puppy dog tail answers.
But the story has developed slowly, then faster, then exponentially, until we have reached our present understanding of the nature of matter. Here is an outline of the history of that development.
Found a word from primary sources that you don't understand? Look it up in this Dictionary of British Eighteenth-Century Chemical Terms
This presentation complements the version with animated graphics to be found in the software package Scott Visual Chemistry - Periodic Table.
Contact Us or Return to ABScott
The first edition of this site was completed on 16-7-2000; most recent alterations 19-11-2001.